EDMONTON, ALTA. – A utility company says contract staff have been fired for making racist comments during a smudging ceremony at an Edmonton public school.
Epcor says school officials reported that students and staff heard construction workers swearing, using racist language and running their equipment during the ceremony last week at Edith Rogers School.
The workers were at a dry pond project across from where the ceremony was taking place.
Epcor shut down the construction site while it investigated.
It says the workers were with a sub-contractor, Wilco Contractors Northwest Inc., and under the control of Sureway Construction Group.
Wilco says in a statement that the workers have been fired and racism will not be tolerated.
Wilcon says it and Sureway will donate $30,000 to the Edmonton Public School Board’s Indigenous program, amiskwaciy Academy.
“Employees working on a dry pond project near Edith Rogers School made racist comments and disrespectful actions towards participants in a smudging ceremony. We apologize unreservedly to the students and staff who were hurt by these actions,” Wilco said in a release Tuesday.
“Following an internal and external review, we have terminated the staff involved.”
Wilco said it would also apologize directly to all those who were harmed by what happened.
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